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CoCaCO2la: Carbon Capture and Conversion for Net Zero Goals

Thu, 16 May, 2024

We are delighted to report the successful conclusion of the collaborative CoCaCO2la project, which will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help meet international net zero targets.

Experts from TWI joined those from the University of Leicester (working under the umbrella of the Materials Innovation Centre (MatIC)), the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH), Technovative Solutions Limited (TVS), and Pilkington Technology Management Limited (PTML) for the project, to develop technologies to convert CO2 to ethylene and other valuable chemicals such as syngas that could be used in several industries.

The CoCaCO2la project team applied flexible, tuneable CO2 electrolysers to convert CO2 into ethylene (C2H4) and other valuable chemicals on demand, using a nanostructured copper catalyst. The multi-skilled team produced an integrated, room temperature, electrochemical carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) system to produce ethylene and other valuable chemicals, alongside a bench-top demonstrator for the system.

Overcoming scale-up challenges, the two-year project opens up benefits including reduced CO2 emissions and the creation of value added chemicals, while also delivering increased flexibility for the grid. This is achieved by harnessing excess renewable energy at times of low or negative pricing or when the grid is overloaded.

Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS)

The UK, European Union and USA have all committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (such as CO2), with the UK being the world’s first major economy to pass laws decreeing it would end its contribution to global warming by 2050.

CCUS has been researched for decades as a method for removing CO2 from the atmosphere. However, its successful implementation requires a chain to convert CO2 into valuable products.

A cathode ‘electrocatalyst’ can achieve this through electrochemically converting captured CO2 into C2 products like ethylene. Copper (Cu) has been shown to be unique as a metal electrocatalyst capable of producing such products, offering benefits for the environment, industry and the power industry.

Converting CO2 creates a route to deliver value from emissions that is allied with concepts of eco-design, eco-efficiency and eco-effectiveness to close the cycle sustainably and align carbon management with a sustainable circular economy.

CoCaCO2la Project Dissemination

The CoCaCO2la project team have shared their developments and findings during the course of the project, including the publication of a project paper, presentations at workshops and conferences and a dedicated project webinar. You can find out more about these activities, below:


The project received funding from BEIS under the Accelerating CCS Technologies (ACT) programme.

The EU’s Accelerating CCS Technologies (ACT) programme is an international initiative to establish CCUS as a tool to combat global warming. It provides funding for research and innovation projects that can lead to safe and cost-effective CCUS technology. ACT partners include the Province of Alberta, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK, and the USA.

The UK element of ACT is funded from the BEIS Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. ACT 3 provides £5m in grant funding for CCUS developers to expand on their research and development to further develop their technologies towards commercialisation. The £5m provided by the UK will contribute to a total funding pot of around £40m (including in-kind and industry funds), of which around £25m is being provided by ACT partners.


The CoCaCO2la project has received £518,777.19 in funding from BEIS under the UK ACT ERA-NET EC GA 691712. This funding has been made available from the Government’s £1 Billion Net Zero Innovation provide key innovation to develop technologies needed to tackle climate change.

For more information please email: